Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A New Culture of Learning Response

     What I really liked about the beginning of this book is how it related my two topics of study at SMCM while also addressing a growing thought/issue among intellectuals as well as the American education system. Brown and Thomas use the main term and idea of "The New Culture of Learning" as their umbrella term and focal point of the first few pages of the text. The new culture of learning refers to how the education system and the modes of learning have changed due to the ever changing world we live in. Technology is the driving resource(s) in todays society. It is rare for a student to wonder about a topic and choose to go to the local library and search through the stacks for a book on the topic. In our new technology driven world, that child/person will be on the Wiki site or on google typing the topic in within five seconds of their first thought. 

     The authors make many relevant points, that I could not help but think of my own experiences and what I have learned in other classes. Thompson and Brown talked about how play, questioning and imagining are at the heart of learning. This is especially true in children. Childhood is when we are sponges, porous and hungry for new knowledge. I remember as a child always asking my parents "Why" or "How". I always wanted to know how things worked or why they were as they were. I to this day remember some of my questions and the answers I received in return. The questions I asked and the knowledge I acquired still to this day amazes me. I may only be 20 but I feel that I know a little about far more things then my peers. These days, I am at college and unable to just turn to my dad and ask "Why". This is when I thank Steve Jobs and the World Wide Web for my IPhone with Safari. Now when I wonder about something, I can google it with an immediate answer in seconds. Speaking of Steve Jobs, Sam's story in the book reminded me of how time, place and resources can lead you down a path that another person three years older or thirty miles away may never be able to achieve. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are huge household names. Yes they were geniuses and changed how we look at our world today but just like Sam from the story, they were given resources that allowed them to become what they were. Sam has a computer program that allows him to code games. Bill gates and Steve jobs grew up at the exact time that the technology for computers was coming about. 

     This brings me to my next point, the reading stated: "technology is constantly creating and responding to change". Think about all the games children play, so how do we combine these hobbies with learning? Magically then appear educational games. My 9 year old sister asks for math blaster and other games on her iPad that are geared toward education. Weren't games created as an outlet and a way to get away from the world and a way to de-stress?  Lastly, the reading talked about how the whole education/learning system has been restructured, and how classrooms and teachers may no longer be necessary in some eyes. I thought about Monisory schools when I read this. I learned briefly about this type of school while in an Educational Psychology class last semester. These schools allow for children to choose what they learn, it is less of a top down learning system and more run on a child's curiosity. This also reminds me of something Billy has said before many classes I have taken with him. He tells us not to look at it as a top down teaching model. Where he is "all knowing" and we know nothing. Rather, it is to be looked at as he knows more, because of his experience but due to the time and programs, we are all learning at the same time and will always feed off one another. 

     What I really liked and thought was successful in this book was how it began. We only were instructed to read the first chapter, but the way in which it was written was very captivating and lead me to thoughts and curiosities. They also talk about themselves in first person and I like books written in that style because I feel it is more personal. It was also written in a very blunt way. They are not hiding behind a cloud. They say what they want how they want and I enjoy that. I also enjoyed the inclusion of a story. Sam's story that was used as a supporting example was very useful. I did not like how the story about sam ended. It ended very bluntly and did not resolve the story with a clear answer. Overall I liked the section I got to read and I do actually wish to read further. 

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